Kane County news briefs

Maria Saenz, left, kennel manager at Kane County Animal Control, Geneva, joins Aurora University students pitching Cat Adoption Toy (CAT) at AU recently. Students from left are David Benitez, Chicago; Dylan Knuth, Plainfield; Jonathan Birkey, West Chicago; and Tyler Sanchez, Round Lake Beach. CAT, a project to ease cat adoptions, was among six inventions unveiled by teams of computer science and pre-engineering students to culminate a semester of research and planning. (Al Benson photo)


Postal employee tackles

suspect, foils holdup

A man wearing a ski mask and toting a semi-automatic weapon tried to hold up the LaFox Post Office on May 2 but was foiled when he was tackled by a female employee, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office reported.

According to a news release, Kane County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at around 10:09 a.m. to a robbery at the post office located at 1N279 LaFox Road.

Police said a man wearing a ski mask entered the post office and confronted a female postal employee, brandishing a semi-automatic handgun and demanding money.

The employee told deputies she tackled the subject before he was able to get any money. She said the man then fled on foot in an unknown direction.

The subject is described as a male of unknown race, 5 feet, 9-inches tall, 220 pounds, dressed in black with a black, zip-up sweatshirt and wearing gray gloves.

The incident itself took place about 15 minutes before police were called. The female employee did not sustain any injuries as a result of tackling the subject.

KCSO is working with U.S. postal inspectors in this investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact detectives at 630-444-1103.


Deadly force justified by

police in Pratt shootings

Aurora Police officers who responded to the Henry Pratt mass shooting have been officially exonerated for their use of deadly force.

According to an Aurora Police Department news release, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office tendered its review of the Kane County Officer-Involved Shooting Task Force investigation of the shooting which occurred at the Henry Pratt facility on Feb. 15.

The review concludes that the police officers who responded to the incident — in which five Pratt workers were killed and five police officers were wounded — were justified in the performance of their duties.

According to the forensic pathologist’s findings, suspect Gary Martin’s death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds. Dr. Mitra Kalelkar performed the autopsy on Feb. 16.

Martin was shot in the middle of his forehead, twice in his left chest, his right chest, his middle chest and his right jaw — the last “likely a self-inflicted wound,” the report said.

According to the state’s attorney’s report, Martin arrived at around 6:45 a.m. to the Henry Pratt facility at 641 Archer Ave. Martin was called into a disciplinary meeting shortly after 1 p.m., where he was presented with a write-up and told he was being let go.

According to the report, when Martin started using profanity, Josh Pinkard, one of the Pratt employees conducting the meeting, said to him, “OK, it’s over.”

Martin replied, “Yeah, it is over,” and began shooting.


WCC to honor Santori,

Ziman at graduation

Dr. Gina Santori is this year’s Waubonsee Community College Distinguished Contributor while Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman is this year’s Distinguished Alumnus, the school has announced.

Santori, a podiatric physician and surgeon and a registered nurse, serves on the Nursing Program Advisory Board at Waubonsee Community College and has served on the college’s Foundation Board since September 2014. She earned a degree in nursing from Truman City College of Chicago, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Illinois and a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from the College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. She has also earned a master’s degree in bioethics and a doctorate degree in bioethics from Loyola University. Her education and professional experience led to her love and appreciation for the Waubonsee Nursing Program.  

Ziman graduated from West Aurora High School in 1991 and from Waubonsee with an Associate in Applied Science in 1993. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Aurora University in 2003, a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management/Organizational Development from Boston University in 2008 and a master’s degree from the Naval Post Graduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. She has also completed training sessions with the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University, the FBI National Academy, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the Kellogg School of Management.

Santori and Ziman will be recognized at the college’s commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18 on the Sugar Grove Campus in the Field House. The college will have two commencement ceremonies, one at 10 a.m. and the other at 2 p.m. Santori will be recognized at the 10 a.m. ceremony and Ziman will be recognized at the 2 p.m. ceremony.


Wildflower walk at

Fermilab rescheduled

The Batavia Environmental Commission and Fermilab Natural Areas are have rescheduled a wildflower walk for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 after the initial date was rained out.

Participants will meet outside the Lederman Science Center. and then take a wildflower walk through Fermilab’s restored prairie and learn about the importance of native plants.

Afterward, all are welcome to join the BEC and Fermilab employees at Fermilab’s very own Frontier



Mental Health Board

Forum set for May 14

The City of Geneva’s Mental Health Board invites the community to talk about mental health and addiction as part of The Kennedy Forum’s “On The Table, Your Voice Matters” event.

The forum, which will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 in the City Hall Council Chambers, 109 James St., is designed to reduce the stigma associated with these issues and spur new ideas about how the community can better serve these needs.


Missing Batavia woman

located in Wisconsin

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office said a Batavia woman reported missing on May 1  was located at about 1 a.m. the next day in Waukesha, Wis.

The Sheriff’s Office had issued a Silver Alert for Pamela Eyer-Fitch, a 62-year-old Batavia woman who was reported missing by her husband and was last seen around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday driving a blue 2010 Dodge Ram pickup.

Eyer-Fitch does not have a cell phone, and last contact was at 7:30 a.m. in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin.

The Sheriff’s Office had sought the public’s help in locating the missing woman.


Man with weapon

threatens co-worker

A Dolton man was arrested Thursday after threatening to pull a handgun on a co-worker.  A loaded weapon and extra magazines were discovered in his work locker.

David Cox, of the 14000 block of Ingleside Av., Dolton was arrested after the co-worker and another employee who reportedly witnessed Cox with a gun. They  reported the incident to supervisors, who immediately contacted the police.

Police responded to Glanbia Performance Nutrition, 600 Commerce Ave. and met with plant managers who explained that earlier in the week, Cox told a co-worker that he was going to “pull a [pistol] on you.”  Later in the day, another employee reportedly observed Cox wearing a fanny pack which he believed contained a weapon. The employees eventually notified management, who immediately called police.

A search of Cox’s work locker revealed this described fanny pack, which contained a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun loaded with 14 rounds, and two additional loaded magazines with 27 additional rounds.  Cox does not have a valid FOID card.

Cox, a temporary employee with Glanbia Performance, was arrested on scene and transported to the Aurora Police Department.  The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office authorized Misdemeanor charges of Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Possession of a Firearm without a FOID Card. Cox will appear in court in DuPage County at a future date.



Man tosses gun from

vehicles, arrested

An Aurora man is heading back to prison after pitching a gun out of his car window.

Malachi Hurt, 27, of Aurora was charged with a series of felony offenses and will have his parole revoked after police stopped him while driving and learned he had just thrown a loaded .45 caliber handgun out of the window of the car he was driving.

At 4:30 p.m. on April 29, APD  Community Oriented Policing Unit officers were conducting a directed patrol in the area of the Harbor Village Apartments, 1361 Pearl Street. Officers noticed Hurt driving a vehicle, knew him from previous police contacts, and knew that his driver’s license was suspended.  As officers attempted to stop Hurt’s car, he pitched a loaded Taurus .45 cal semi-automatic handgun out of the window of the vehicle, which was recovered by other officers in the area.

Hurt, an admitted street gang member, is already on parole for previous felony convictions.  He was ultimately charged with four different felonies


Shooting during domestic

disturbance leads to charges

An Algonquin man has been charged with two counts of reckless discharge of a weapon, one count of assault and one count of domestic battery after an April 26 incident inside his home.

According to Algonquin Police, officers responded at about 11:15 p.m. to reports that a man — later identified as Lestek Zujko, 51, of the 1000 block of Applewood Lane — had discharged a handgun inside of his home during a domestic disturbance.

The Algonquin Police Department was assisted by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team, which conducted a high-risk search for Zujko inside of his residence and determined that he had fled the scene.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department also provided K-9 unit assistance, which was instrumental in Zujko’s apprehension, police said.

Multiple members of Zujko’s family had been present in the home, but no one was injured during the incident.

Zujko was taken into custody at 5:20 a.m. Saturday, police said. He was later transported to the McHenry County Correctional Facility in Woodstock to await a bond hearing.


Couple charged with using

charity funds for personal use

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin and Wheaton Chief of Police William Murphy announced that a Lombard couple charged with stealing funds from a not-for-profit agency intended to aid United States veterans.

Todd Olshefski, 50, and his wife Priscilla, 60, both of 444 E. Roosevelt Road, were each charged with one count of Unlawful Use of Charitable Funds, a Class 2 Felony.

The charges against the Olshefskis stem from a 10-month investigation conducted by the Wheaton Police department, with assistance from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, following numerous complaints regarding the couple’s aggressive soliciting tactics, use of intimidation and concerns surrounding the legitimacy of the agency created by the Olshefskis, the Veteran’s Christian Network (VCN), as a not-for profit organization.

It is alleged that the funds solicited by the defendants and donated to the VCN were being used by the Olshefskis to pay personal expenses including rent, car payments, insurance and veterinary bill for their dog, among other things.

“What Todd and Priscilla Olshefski are accused of doing is absolutely deplorable,” Berlin said.  “The residents of DuPage County have shown time and time again their generous spirit and it is certainly a shame when people take advantage of that spirit for their own